The Islamic State's religious scholars have ruled that taking the organs of non-Muslims is permissible under Islamic law to save the life of a Muslim, because killing apostates to eat their flesh has previously been allowed.
The revelation comes in a January 2015 document that was capured by U.S. special forces in Syria in May and obtained by Reuters.
The news agency posted a U.S. government translation of the document attributed to the Islamic State's research and fatwa committee.
"Allah almighty knows what's best and knows what's right and what is wrong and there is evidence from texts and Islamic principles and laws supporting the notion that transplanting organs from an apostate's body into a Muslim body in order to save the latter's life or replace a damaged organ with it is permissible," the document reads.
Citing the Koran, the Islamic State scholars wrote that saving a Muslim from "death and deterioration is an Islamic legal duty."
But the document notes that Islamic jurists have "permitted, when necessary, the killing of the infidel combatant or the apostate should one need to consume their flesh for the purpose of saving his own life." Islamic scholar Imam al-Nawawi, according to the document, wrote about the "legitmacy of killing the infidel fighters and apostates and eating them."
The Islamic State scholars argue that "If the jurists had permitted, when necessary, the consumption of human flesh as a means counter to death or harm, then it is even more appropriate to transplant of organs from the apostate to the Muslim to save the life of the latter. This is especially true because it was ruled that the apostate's life and organs are not protected. On the contrary, the apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and can be taken with impunity."
The document notes that, "The permission to transplant the apostate's organs into a Muslim body facilitates, allivieates and removes the diffculties endured by Muslims is corroborated by a reason strongly rooted in the pure Sharia."
Reuters notes that the document is "raising concerns that the violent extremist group may be trafficking in body parts" but that there is no evidence to support the notion that it has already done so.